Hostels are the 'normal' accommodations for people traveling for extended periods of time who want to save their pennies, especially when traveling alone. So even though I am someone who likes her personal space, I thought I'd give it a try.
I checked in to Jacob's Inn in Dublin when I got back from riding in Thurles, and I had booked a bed in a 4-bed room. I got in and saw a guy's sneakers and deodorant on one bed, two beds with slept-in sheets, and one unused bed for me. But there was no 'stuff' anywhere. Where were my roommates' clothes and bags?! The room itself was small and stuffy and the bathroom didn't have towels. Learned two things already: you have to pay extra (in this and many hostels) to lock up your bags in the lobby as well as to borrow a towel.
Fast forward to night time. I got to the hostel around 11pm (Sunday night) from dinner and drinks with a friend of a friend, and I was the first to arrive. Hopped into bed and I could tell there was no way I'd be able to sleep knowing three strangers would be barging in during the night. So I tossed and turned until a Spanish couple came in followed by an Australian man a bit later. The couple was whispering and laughing two feet from my bed (no sleep) and then the Aussie was de-primping in the bathroom for quite a while. Finally, everyone was in bed and within a few minutes I was finally feeling rested and like I could fall asleep.
Then, there was a loud fart. Nobody said a word and I don't know who did it. So I bit my tongue from laughing or screaming and covered my face with the sheet.
Then came the snores. Finally it was morning and the Aussie got up at 6am for a tour. Then I just said screw it and got up for my own tour after maybe a combined hour of sleep.
I know there are plenty of people who can sleep through anything (I thought I could fall asleep easily and anywhere) but without feeling confortable in a space, sleep just doesn't happen for me. Since I want to enjoy every day of my trip, sleep is important and a priority. So moving forward I think I'm going to splurge a bit and stick to the private rooms in hostels, B&Bs or hotels.